The last couple of years have been tough and hopefully you and your company managed to survive it. In 2010 we expect that things will start getting better, at least in certain industries; however you should be smart and don’t get all excited. There are great opportunities for those that are brave, innovative and agile, is that you?
- Don’t Spend Your Entire Marketing Budget. Costs saving initiatives have been more popular than ever before. If you can manage to not spend your entire marketing budget you will be rewarded. Showing savings is always a good thing these days, and who cares if you hurt your lead generation volume and quality or stall your brand building efforts. What is more important though is to get a tap on your back from your boss for finishing the year strong. Nobody will hunt you down if you don’t continue your efforts to capitalize on the upturn of the economy we will see in 2010, right?
- Keep Reducing Headcounts. Everyone had been letting people go and most have successfully managed to survive this economic crisis based on these decisions. These types of initiatives are effective and opportune to let go of low performing employees. You can always hire top performers later in the year; although you may not have enough budget. Remember you saved so much money by not spending your entire marketing budget that your boss will probably decide that you could do a great job with a smaller budget in 2010.
- New Market Segments are Not Worthwhile. Although, trends such as the high broadband Internet penetration, the surge of web 2.0 tools and the social media boom are making it easier and easier to reach out to smaller segments in very cost effective manners, many people would argue that is not enough. Segments based on race, language, gender, age or sexual preferences are not big enough yet to allocate enough resources. No one cares that one of every five young adults today (ages 18 – 34) are Hispanic, which are ONLY about 50 million people. And nobody believes in Forrester estimates that Hispanic disposable income as a group will grow to $1.4 trillion by 2013 from $951 billion in 2008.
- Search Engine Optimization is Overrated. People justify SEO investment with arguments such as that more than 1 billion people worldwide, ages 15 years and older are Internet users or that more than 74% of the US population uses the Internet. Also that organic search drives 75%+ of all search traffic. What value does all that have? How many people really use the Internet to purchase or influence product purchases? Not many really, the penetration of ecommerce, on product categories such as computer electronics and media (books, music and videos) is ONLY 25%. There are still lots of people that you can reach out to without using the Internet, so why bother reaching out to these demographics, right?
- Email Marketing is From the Past. Email marketing started in the mid and late 1990’s, which is a long time ago in Internet history. It boomed in the early part of this decade, but as of a couple of years ago many argue it is being replaced by social media marketing and other new media channels. Companies used to BLAST emails because it was easy and cheap, but CAN-SPAM laws, anti-spam software and other tools are allowing people to hide from email marketing messages. Let’s look at some stats again to support this argument. Email open rates are above 30% in many industries and click rates get up to 6% or higher. So if you are a small or medium size business and you have an opted-in list of prospects and customers of let’s say 10,000 emails, you are directly reaching ONLY 3,000 people and building strong relationship via your content or offers with ONLY 600 people… EVERY TIME YOU SEND EMAIL CAMPAIGNS.
- Social Media is a Fad, Let Your Competitors Go There First. Much has been said about the reach of social media, the engagement capabilities it adds to the mix, that is taking Word-of-Mouth marketing to the next level and that is incredibly more cost effective than other tools. But, it is so new that many marketers feel threatened or not knowledgeable enough to jump into it, so they are waiting for others in the industry to lead the path to figure out how to use it. Let your competitors work with “social media” marketing firms and create some success first before you join. Why take any risks? We still need to survive 2010, right?